Elizabeth

Date Built: 2000

Architect: Daryl Jackson Robin Dyke

10 storeys, 44 New York style apartments. Retains original red bricks and art deco facade. Overlooks Johnstons Bay and Pirrama Park. Site of CSR boiler house.

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Elizabeth

Overview

Nokia, Distillery and Elizabeth (l to r) Elizabeth High pressure boiler station and refinery (l to r) from Water Police site View through the high pressure boiler station windows Boiler station at water’s edge High pressure boiler station from coal silos CSR Refinery, Fitters' Workshop, circa 1907 Refinery pan house, Rum Store and high pressure boiler station (l to r) High pressure boiler station

Designed by Jackson Dyke, and completed in 2000, the building is named for Elizabeth, wife and better half of ambitious and litigious John Macarthur, soldier and early holder of the Pyrmont land grant. During John’s many periods of trial, exile and overseas trips, Elizabeth managed his business, maritime and pastoral interests. “It was to the persistence and loyalty of his wife and sons that Macarthur owed the greater part of that reputation derived from his practical achievements with Australian wool.”

It was during a picnic of friends of the Macarthurs that Pyrmont gained its name through its resemblance to the German spa resort.

The historical significance of this building rests, however, on its later industrial function as the powerhouse for CSR’s refinery and distillery. Coal was shipped in to the wharf and stored in silos to supply the boilers that generated the steam power to operate CSR’s industrial processes. In the 1980s, three Brown-Boveri 6250KVA turbo alternators produced power which was transformed to 415V for factory use. These engines, the turbo alternators and switching gear still worked: the complex was then one of very few private power houses still operating in Sydney. As in this case, private facilities insulated companies from industrial disputes and supply outages from the Electricity Commission.

It was the height of the boiler house chimneys that enabled Lend Lease to build a ten-storey apartment block so close to the water.